Steamboat’s annual Big Snow Dance and Backcountry Ball team up |

Steamboat’s annual Big Snow Dance and Backcountry Ball team up

Nicole Inglis

— The first year that Friends of the Yampa put on its Big Snow Dance fundraiser, Steamboat received a season record of 489 inches of snow.

So what could a combined Big Snow Dance and Backcountry Ball event do for the snow gods? It remains to be seen, but if the superstition fails, at least a pre-ski season evening of dancing, drinks and snow-dominated conversation will be in the books.

The Big Snow Dance Backcountry Ball begins at 7 p.m. Saturday at Olympian Hall at the base of Howelsen Hill.

Tickets are $20 and proceeds benefit Friends of the Yampa and support the Friends of the Routt Backcountry, which formerly held its own December fundraiser called the Backcountry Ball.

Friends of the Yampa is a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the Yampa River and the recreational opportunities it provides. Currently, the group is fundraising to help implement priority projects of the Yampa River Master Plan.

Friends of the Routt Backcountry is a local group dedicated to preserving land for winter recreation, including skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing.

Recommended Stories For You

Ken Brenner, Friends of the Yampa board president, said it made sense to combine the two events this year.

"We have a similar set of goals: both recreation and the outdoors and both centered around snow and water," he said.

The $20 ticket includes drinks and appetizers, and there also will be a silent auction featuring a day with Steamboat Powdercats, a kayak, a fly-fishing package, winter gear and gift certificates.

But the event is centered on its eponymous activity. There will be a live DJ spinning throughout the evening, and before the dancing gears up, local dancers Kristen Jespersen and Stephanie Kohlhardt will be teaching the steps to a popular recent dance craze.

So the real question is, “Does it work?"

"We think yes it does, the more people show up, the more snow we'll get this year," Brenner said matter-of-factly.

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email